(The sun and rain taking turns, in Lagos, Portugal.)
First off, how about a little sale? Everything in the store is 20% off until May 6th (this doesn’t include clubs, custom orders, Chubbies or gift certificates). We’re clearing the way for some new things. This is the biggest discount we’ve ever offered, so enjoy! Coupon code is MayDay20.
I just got back from a pretty amazing month travelling in Europe, most of the time with my husband and kids. (Actually, I got back about a week ago, but my jet lag is finally gone so I have regained coherency.) I haven’t been to Europe in 24 years, since my husband and I were first married. I had a great time but a month is a long time to be gone, five countries is a lot to visit, and I am happy to be back home. I’m also thankful to Sheri for keeping the shop smoothly running. Great teamwork!
The really nice thing, though, about being out of the U.S. for that long is that I was really able to appreciate so many things that are not typically American. I ate a lot of great food, saw a lot of amazing sights and art, and tried to embrace and immerse myself in the culture wherever I went. I only went to Starbucks twice – and really, it was only because I needed the wifi! I loved all the local coffee shops and bakeries, especially the chocolate pastries my husband brought me every morning. Thank goodness nearly every country seems to have some version. I will admit, though, I got tired of the bocadillos de jamon – I was in Spain the longest and I’ve eaten enough of those little ham sandwiches to last me a long time. The paella, however, is another story! I’m going to have to buy myself a paella pan.
(Spring bulbs blooming in the Real Jardín Botánico de Madrid.)
It was unfortunate for me, the garden lover, that Europe was experiencing an atypical cold spring. That meant there were few flowers for me to walk amongst, although I did go to a few botanical gardens to see spring bulbs blooming. Instead, I concentrated more on museums, palaces, castles, ancient walled cities and other sightseeing. For instance, I took a cooking class in a centuries-old castle near Dublin with my daughter that was really fun, and I saw the End of the World in Sagres, Portugal (the end of the world before 1492, anyway). We created some great family memories and some even better, funny family stories of all our mishaps, many of which involve my poor husband trying to drive a rental car through the medieval streets and traffic circles of Spain.
It was a fulfilling, exhausting trip and I loved it. We met wonderful, helpful, friendly people everywhere we went and had amazing food and wine all along the way. And of course, as a knitter and dyer, what is a trip to Europe without making a side trip to Pfaffenhofen, Germany? Yes, I visited the famous Wollmeise shop, and luckily I had packed a few space bags, because I brought all of these beauties home with me in my carryon:
What a great shop, and what a lovely town, too!
I may post a bit more about this trip later, but for now I’m happy to be back and firing up the dyepots again. I saw so many, many cool and colorful things that I know will inspire my work in new ways. We’ll be updating the shop soon after the end of the sale!